Intradermal injection of 46 micrograms E coli endotoxin had no effect on the plasma cortisol and noradrenaline concentrations of four dairy cows. Mean values were similar to normal values reported in the literature. Intravenous injection of 75 micrograms of endotoxin on the following day caused a massive increase in plasma cortisol concentrations which lasted for seven hours. Plasma noradrenaline concentrations increased rapidly after the intravenous administration of endotoxin and remained high for at least one hour. A possible relationship between endotoxaemia and the pathogenesis of acute laminitis is discussed.